Recently I was able to attend a workshop at the American Library Association Annual Meeting, sponsored by the RDA Steering Committee, providing an introduction to the beta revised RDA Toolkit. The RDA Steering Committee (RSC) initiated the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) project in 2017, redesigning the toolkit to align with the IFLA Library Reference Model.
The beta Toolkit is available at https://beta.rdatoolkit.org/rda.web/ and users are encouraged to explore and provide feedback. Presentations from the workshop are available on the RSC's presentation site, http://www.rda-rsc.org/node/560.
What do I think the takeaways are? An understanding of the IFLA LRM is essential to navigating the revised toolkit as all instructions are organized in accordance with this model. The toolkit is very much a work in progress, so it is difficult to tell how it will be to work with, examples are incomplete and some navigational aids have yet to be developed. While the language used is very consistent, it is also somewhat opaque. The new version will be reliant on "application profiles" to provide guidance to catalogers for use of the recording options presented for each data element. It is anticipated that communities of practice, e.g. music catalogers, law catalogers, will develop best practices for catalogers working in these areas.
The RSC has not determined a date for transition to the revised toolkit; they must first agree that the 3R project is complete. The RDA Board must unanimously approve the determination. A transition date will then be announced; the original site will remain available for one year beyond that date so users can move to the new toolkit.